Anitra Karthic will attend Case Western Reserve University. Major: Pre-Med Biology
I always looked forward to today - to throwing our hats in the air, to being the celebrities for one day. We did it! We endured four years of successes and challenges! We made lifelong friends and memories! We studied hard! We learned about ourselves! WE accomplished this!
But as I was reflecting upon the past eighteen years, I began to realize today was not possible without the one constant throughout our lives. Today is not only a milestone in our life, but it is also a celebration of our mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and everyone who has served as our mentors and pillars, guiding us towards this day. Considering how much we have to thank our parents for, it is surprising how difficult it is to properly put into words all they have done for us. But as I look at you all today, smiling at us from the crowd, it all makes sense now.
You have been there for us since day one. Thank you for being our first teachers! You taught us to crawl, stand, walk, and run to help us chase after our own dreams. Then came kindergarten. Whether we were the kids pushing you away as we entered the bus or the kids latched onto your legs crying to not leave you, you showed us true strength of spirit with your courageous, unwavering smiles. In elementary school, you helped us navigate through the chaos of Entrepreneur Day complementing our balloons filled with sugar we called stress balls. Upon entering middle school, you helped us open our lockers for the first time during 6th grade orientation.
Thank you for listening to us, however boring or annoying we might have been as we rehashed the day’s drama and gossip of middle school. You kept us emotionally grounded reminding us that Uggs, Pink, and Jordans were not our character definers. You might have thought rolling our eyes meant we did not understand, but we did. Thank you for believing in us and seeing the best versions of us, even when we cannot see it ourselves.
Thank you for being our biggest cheerleaders in high school, encouraging us to follow our dreams. Whether you were in the stands during a football or soccer game or in the audience during a choir or band concert, you never failed to support us. Sometimes you cheered too loudly and we were embarrassed - but we still loved you being there. You even became our study buddy helping us find 20 different species of plants for the biology Plant Project and learning geometry again so you could help us with our homework. Moms and Dads, thank you for risking your lives and teaching us how to drive.
Thank you for all the times you have told us it would be okay. You became our safety nets, picking us up when we fell down and bringing us back to the ground when our heads were too high in the clouds. Like when you told us the world does not end after failing a chemistry test, nor are we rocket scientists for passing them. With your continuous love and support, you helped us overcome hurdles and build our foundations towards unimaginable heights.
Now, we are here making plans for the future. While some of us pursue a vocation, others are off to serve in the military, and still others will attend colleges, but there is still one constant.
Parents, thank you for being with us every step of the way. Sometimes, we would like to think we are able to do things on our own, but deep down we know we need your help. Thank you for encouraging us to believe we can be anything we want to be as long as we have the passion and determination to achieve it.
So, parents YOU did it! Not only have you raised kids with strong character and incredible talents with whom I have had the honor of spending the past twelve years, but most importantly, you cultivated our world’s future innovators, critical thinkers, changemakers, and leaders. We will never forget the ones who have molded us into strong, independent men and women ready to take on the next chapter of our lives.
So Class of 2017, please join me in thanking those who have been beyond instrumental in helping us reach today. Thank you parents!